The windows Update CLI commands are useful for troubleshooting Windows Update errors. And they are helpful when you need to automate the windows update tasks. In newer versions of windows, the WUAUCLT command has been deprecated and replaced with the usoclient. In this article we have included the options and syntax for using wuault, usoclient, and powershell to detect and install windows updates


The windows update command utility in windows is: WUAUCLT. This stands for Windows Update Automatic Update Client. This client has been deprecated in windows 10 and server 2016. Howeve,r it is still available through windows 7 and server 2012R2.

Below is a list of arguments you can pass to the WUAUCLT commands and a short explanation of what each argument does.

/DetectNowDetect and download updates that are available (will vary by system settings)
/ReportNow Tell the client to report its status back to the WSUS server
/ShowSettingsDialogShow Windows Update settings dialog
/ShowWindowsUpdateShows the windows update dialog box or web page (depending on windows version)
/ResetAuthorizationwhen an update check occurs a cookie is stored that prevents a new update or check for 1 hour. So, you should use this to delete this cookie
/ResetEulasResets the accepted EULA's
/ShowWUShows the windows update dialog on windows vista and above. Opens Windows update on XP
/SelfUpdateManagedScan for windows updates using WSUS
/SelfUpdateUnmanagedTriggers a windows update scan using the windows update website
/ShowOptionsOpen the windows update settings window
/ShowFeaturedOptInDialogShow Opt-In dialog for featured updates
/DemoUIShow the icons for windows update
/ShowFeaturedUpdatesOpen windows update dialog and shows the featured updates
/UpdateNowInstall updates now


See below for some examples of running the wuauclt. All examples should be run from an elevated/administrative command prompt

If all you want to do is detect and install updates right now, you would run:

Wuauclt /dectectnow /updatenow

If it is refusing to install, you can run:

Wuauclt /resetauthorization

If you want to have the client report its status back to the WSUS server, you would run:

Wuauclt /reportnow


Powershell will give you the most flexibility in installing windows updates. The other methods are fine for simply downloading and installing all updates. However, with the powershell cmdlets you can do things like get a list of updates, search for updates with a specific word in them, then only install those updates.

The first step is to download the powershell module here:

If you have Powershell verison 5, you can install the module from the gallery by running:

Install-module PSWindowsUpdate

Before you can run any commands, you need to import the windows update module:

Import-Module PSWindowsUpdate

You might need to install the Microsoft Update service. That can be done with this command:

Add-WUServiceManager -ServiceID 7971f918-a847-4430-9279-4a52d1efe18d

You can get a list of available cmdlets in the PSWindowsUpdate module with the following command:

Get-command -module PSWindowsUpdate

I have also included a list of commands below:

  • Add-WUOfflineSync
  • Add-WUServiceManager
  • Get-WUHistory
  • Get-WUInstall
  • Get-WUInstallerStatus
  • Get-WUList
  • Hide-WUUpdate
  • Invoke-WUInstall
  • Get-WURebootStatus
  • Get-WUServiceManager
  • Get-WUUninstall
  • Remove-WUOfflineSync
  • Remove-WUServiceManager
  • Update-WUModule


The most important cmdlet is Get-WUInstall . This will be apparent in the examples below

Download and install updates from Microsoft Update, then reboot:

Get-WUInstall –MicrosoftUpdate –AcceptAll –AutoReboot

**Note, I usually only reboot if required. For that reason, I don’t like to use the AutoReboot flag.

Check if a reboot is required


List available updates on Microsoft Update

Get-WUInstall –MicrosoftUpdate –ListOnly


The USO client is new to windows 10 and Server 2016. This replaces the wuauclt command in these Operating systems. I would recommend using powershell instead of this client when you are doing automation, since it will work on newer and older clients. However, this client is very simple to use. and is useful for one-off purposes. See the table below for all of the command arguments:

startscanscan for updates
startdownloaddownload updates
startinstallinstall updates
RefreshsettingsRefresh settings if any changes were made
StartInteractiveScanOpen a dialog and start scanning for updates
RestartDeviceRestart computer to finish installing updates
ScanInstallWaitScan, Download, and install updates
ResumeUpdateResume installing updates on next boot


See below for some examples of how to use the USO client. All of these examples should be run in an administrative command prompt

Scan for updates

usoclient startscan

Download updates

Usoclient startdownload

Install updates

usoclient startinstall

Here are other related links

In case you would like to see some additional information, I hae included some links to good resources on these topics:

WSUS Server Cmdlets

Powershell Execution Policy:

Troubleshoot computers not in WSUS:

Client Side Powershell Module:

Powershell FAQ